Melrose Again: Bloggin' about Melrose Place

Archive for January 2010

Gilles Marini should join Melrose Place.

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Last week I shared my thoughts on why Melrose Place should give Riley (Jessica Lucas) a personality change so she would become more interesting in the wake of her breakup with Jonah (Michael Rady).  I think getting her involved with a fashion bigwig with a dangerous agenda could spice things up and draw in a number of characters in an exciting storyline. This character should be a bad influence on Riley and bring out her inner bad girl while maybe giving Amanda (Heather Locklear) a run for her money as top schemer on the show. By resorting to some media-friendly stunt casting, Melrose could bring in much-needed buzz and hopefully expand the show’s audience and I think Gilles Marini would be a great choice. Gilles is best known for his near-win in last year’s edition of Dancing with the Stars, but has been steaming up movie and TV screens with a steady stream of memorable roles that showcase his dark, European sex appeal. First he had fans of the “Sex and the City” movie buzzing about his beach-house shower scene that distracted a lucky Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones. After coming in second on “Dancing” he lent his Greek-Italian charm to the roles of Luc on Brothers & Sisters and the shady Renaldo on Nip/Tuck. Without fail, Gilles appeared shirtless in most of these projects. This is a natural asset Melrose can use, obviously, but I think they should go a step further and give him a juicy storyline inspired by the real-life story of Christian Audigier, the French designer and fashion mogul behind the monster success of the Ed Hardy brand. After turning Von Dutch hats into a major trend, Audigier seemingly put Ed Hardy on the fashion map overnight with a passion for tattoo prints, a larger-than-life personality, and a sizable war chest.  A business titan of this type would stir things up on Melrose and accurately reflect the workings of the L.A. fashion world.  Amanda is attracted to power and would no doubt have both business and personal interests in such a character. Casting Gilles Marini would make him a delectable package to boot.  The YouTube screen capture from Nip/Tuck below proves my point quite nicely. Click here to view the clip at YouTube.

Image copyright 2009 FX Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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Should Riley (Jessica Lucas) go bad on Melrose Place?

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Riley (Jessica Lucas) should turn to the dark side, if only briefly.

Now that Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is on her way out of Melrose Place as creepy Violet, I think there’s room for another resident to lose her marbles and nominate Riley. Conditions are perfect for Riley (Jessica Lucas) to have a Mariah Carey-style breakdown that changes her personality so her storylines have more punch. In other words, I think it’s time for Riley to go badass. The CW’s commercials for the upcoming episodes show that Riley will be working for Amanda in some capacity and Empress Woodward seems hell-bent on making her life miserable. Amanda was good at making Allison’s life a nightmare back at D&D Advertising on the old Melrose, but I don’t think the producers should stop there. Riley will most likely be mourning the end of her relationship with Jonah and, adding insult to injury, she will have to tolerate having his new fling with Ella flaunted in her face right across the Melrose courtyard. This could make for a very bitter Riley who would need to turn elsewhere for comfort. Here’s where Melrose can introduce a new male character who romances our wounded sparrow and maybe corrupts her a bit in the process. The modeling storyline is a great way to explore this direction since we’re always hearing about how young models lose their way in the fashion business. Angelina Jolie got her big career break playing Gia Carangi, the infamous drug-addicted model from the ‘70s, in the 1998 HBO movie “Gia,” so the concept has great dramatic potential. Jessica Lucas arguably has the best body among the show’s female stars and should be a much sexier character. In my next post, I’ll share some ideas on who Melrose should cast as Riley’s new flame. I definitely think the character should be from the fashion industry, but not a designer, and should be strong enough to come up against Amanda. Stay tuned.

Photo: Copyright 2009/2010 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Katie Cassidy’s cute closeup for TV Guide’s photo booth.

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Photos of Melrose Place MVP Katie Cassidy in TV Guide could be a weekly feature by now given the frequency with which she appears in the magazine. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld might say. Katie fans should pick up the Jan 18-24 issue, which caught the more playful side of our Miss Ella Simms as part of its photo booth feature on TV celebs who presented at the recent People’s Choice Awards. Katie looks adorable and super approachable with an exaggerated grin that belies her cool image on the show. Style-wise, she’s as experimental as always and we’re digging the soft braid. Here are scans of the article and a closeup of Katie’s snapshot. It’s on page 19.

Why Melrose Place should rehire Victor Webster as Caleb.

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Victor Webster should return as Caleb seeking revenge against Amanda.

Happy New Year to my fellow Melrose Place fans. I realize you’re miffed about the CW’s decision to hold off on airing new episodes until March but hang in there. The last episode showed some promise that the show would head in a snappier new direction that will hopefully lift its ratings. I’m using the lull in action to brainstorm ways they can juice up their storylines and, following my December 17 post about rehiring Jenna Dewan as Kendra, I’m suggesting that the MP producers bring back hunky Victor Webster as PR stud Caleb Brewer. This blog has seen its fair share of page views based on Google searches for the sexy Canadian actor who had memorable stints on the syndicated sci-fi show Mutant X and Charmed, so I can vouch for his appeal. Aside from Victor’s obvious attributes, the character of Caleb presents Melrose Place an opportunity to claim a unique spot in the evolving depiction of gay characters on broadcast TV. More than a decade after Doug Savant’s chaste portrayal of social worker Matt Fielding on the original Melrose, producers of the CW’s reboot had a chance to present a full-bodied storyline of a single, sexy professional gay guy in as much vivid detail as those of its straight characters. On the surface, this might not seem so groundbreaking since ABC’s Brothers & Sisters regularly shows its gay couple kissing on the mouth and Showtime’s Queer as Folk , arguably cable TV’s gay equivalent to Melrose, depicted this and much more from 2000 to 2005. Nevertheless, I think Melrose dropped the ball, so to speak, by losing Caleb. When Heather Locklear returned as Amanda to reclaim control of WPK and axed Caleb, his sexiest moment had been a sly double entendre shared with fashion designer client Anton V about steak tartar while bisexual Ella swapped spit with hotties of both genders left and right. This was another example of the media’s hesitance to show a gay character with leading man potential in a sexy light. I applaud ABC’s hit Modern Family for including a gay couple as central characters, but I suspect their approachable, average looks don’t feel as threatening to the TV powers-that-be as Caleb’s smoldering sex appeal. As the recent Adam Lambert American Music Awards controversy showed, it seems good-looking gays still need to tone it down for mainstream America. Aside from this double standard, I think there’s room for a powerful storyline in which Caleb clobbers Amanda with a sexual discrimination lawsuit, sets up his own agency and recruits Ella as his VP. Having Amanda nose around for a missing painting, no matter how pricey, is a yawn, dramatically speaking. She needs someone strong and crafty to come up against and I think Caleb can bring it. And it wouldn’t hurt if he loses the shirt from time to time in the process.

Photo: Copyright 2009/2010 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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